December 24, 2010

Christmas Cookies in a Jar

This year I decided to give friends and family these really neat "Cookie in a Jar" gifts. They were not difficult to make at all and made a wonderful, homemade gift.

You will need:
1 -1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
2/3 cups packed brown sugar
3/4 cup holiday red & green M&M's. (or you could use any color of M&M' for Valentines day, etc)
1/2 cup Reese's Peanut butter baking pieces (oops forgot to get them in the picture!)
12/ cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup honey roasted peanuts or chopped pecans.
1 quart sized glass jar with lid.
Some ribbon, holiday colored computer paper, scissors, red or green material, double sided tape, labels or whatever you want to decorate your finished jars with.

Mix the baking soda and salt in with your flour. Put your ingredients into separate containers.

Layer in your jar the following ingredients, adding each ingredient one at a time in the following order: Flour with baking soda & salt, brown sugar, M&M's, Reese's Peanut butter pieces, Coconut, and peanuts. A funnel comes in real handy here. Tap jar gently on the counter to settle and even each layer before adding the next one. You can use a small ladle or spoon to pack each layer slightly but don't go overboard or you will have too much space at the top when you are done.

When you are done your jar should look like this. Don't those layers look pretty?

Next comes the fun part, decorating your Cookies in a Jar gift! I just used a large red holiday table cloth that I found for only $4.50 (and there is plenty there to do several years worth of these gifts!) I cut out 6" X6" squares for my jars which I secured over the lid and under the lid ring. (Or you could just secure it over the whole lid with a rubber band if you like that look better.) I used the double sided tape to help attach a pretty green ribbon bow around the lid as well but you could decorate these any way you like, that is part of fun!

Don't forget to print off the following baking instructions on a label or piece of colorful paper to attach to the jar! I printed it off on green computer paper, cut out with a decorative edge scissor, punched a hole in the top of the label and attached to the jar, hanging with a small piece of ribbon.

1. In a large bowl, beat 1/2 cup butter, softened, with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until smooth. Beat in one egg and one teaspoon vanilla until combined. Stir in contents of jar until combined, knead if necessary.

2. Drop by 2 tablespoon portions, 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Lightly press down to flatten.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 14 minutes or until edges are lightly golden brown. Let set on cookie sheet one minute. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Makes about 20 cookies.

I made a batch of these cookies at home too (shown here mixed up before baking) and they are delicious. If you like chocolate and peanut butter you will like these! I made about 7 of these gifts and figured they cost me about $7 a jar but that is not counting that I still have a lot of red material, some ribbon and lots of double sided tape left for other projects! I also bought the jars new, but I know a lot of you already have these at your house. I loved making and giving these away and I think they made much nicer and more meaningful gifts than I could have found at Wal-Mart for $7!


Melodie said...

Looks like Santa will be eating good tonight! Merry Christmas!

Teresa said...

What a great idea. I love the homemade gifts so much more than purchased ones.

Louvregirl said...

Wishing you a blessed and a Merry Christmas!!!!

Life with Kaishon said...

That is such a great present Jennifer! I know your friends LOVED that gift. Very thoughtful and creative.

Merry Christmas! : )

Flartus said...

Great idea! I made two or three of these for my nephew several years ago (he must have been about 8 or 9). The best part...he saved one to bake with me when I went to visit!

Have a wonderful, homemade Christmas, Jennifer!

Dorkys Ramos said...

What a sweet and cute idea. Would definitely make cookie making a lot simpler that's for sure! Hope you and your loved ones are having a wonderful Christmas :)

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful gift! Merry Christmas to you, Jamey, and all the critters!


Bossy Betty said...

Love this great idea! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Carla said...

My mom did this with her little church girl group. They had a blast!! Happy Holidays:)

Twisted Fencepost said...

The layers are very pretty and so are the decorated jars. I bought a book with several recipes a couple of years ago, but never got around to doing this. Maybe next year.....**sigh**

Mika said...

Great recipe and gift idea!
I'm following from the blog
hop. I'd love a follow back at

Nerd Mama said...

Looks yummy! I have given cookies in a jar before, but mine are usually "healthy" oatmeal cookies. I'm betting my father-in-law would like yours better. ;)

healthy choices for a girls night out said...

Surpppp!! Looks delicious!!